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2025 - 2042
Reviewed by Lisa Perrotti-Brown
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2020 Cantenac Brown slides effortlessly out of the glass with pronounced notes of licorice, tar, tapenade and fertile loam over a core of warm cassis and plum preserves, with a waft of charcuterie. The medium-bodied palate is refreshing, bursting with crunchy black fruit and herbal sparks with a well-managed, grainy texture, finishing long and earthy.
The 2020 Cantenac Brown, cropped at 36hl/ha, has quite a precocious bouquet of macerated small black cherries, blueberry, touches of cassis and violet, all very generous and seductive in style. The palate is beautifully balanced and extremely pure, offering succulent ripe tannins, perfectly judged acidity and layers of blueberry, Dorset plum, crushed stone and light graphite notes toward the finish, which has just the right amount of salinity. This is a sophisticated and quite cerebral Margaux in a series of excellent recent releases from the estate. Highly recommended.
(67% CS, 33% M; 51% harvest; 13.6% ABV; 60% new)
Fine nose, gravelly behind the ripe, fresh black fruit, but subtle and classy, too; full, fresh, finely tannic, a very nice harmony, just a touch of new-oak dryness; gently “packed,” firm-fleshed, long, and close-grained, freshly, deliciously sweet, a subtle complexity, and lovely length of both the fruit and gentle mineral aromas on the finish. A slightly more solid Margaux style, but this is really very good. 2028–50+.
Fantastic depth of fruit with layers of firm, chewy tannins that are medium-grained and long in the mouth. Full and dynamic. One of the best ever.
67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot. Cask sample.
Delicately floral and fruity on the nose with just a hint of oak. Soft and supple on entry then a lingering freshness. Adequate juice and fine tannins with a leafy, Cabernet note on the finish. More refined and less chunky than in the past. (JL)
The 2020 Cantenac Brown is an outrageously beautiful wine. Ample, vertical and soaring in its intensity, the 2020 is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. Punchy red berry fruit, lavender, spice, mint and rose petal abound. What I like most about the 2020 is the way it balances fruit intensity with vibrancy and energy. Cantenac Brown is shaping up to be one of the wines of the vintage.
Inky in color, the wine hits all the right notes with its floral, camphor, blackberry, incense, espresso and black currant aromatics. There is serious intensity here with layers of ripe, sweet, dark fruits, toasty oak and polished tannins on the mid-palate and in the finish. Long, and deep, give this at least 7-8 in the cellar and this is going to really start to show well. 94-96
Tasted by Jane Anson (at Primeur week tastings in Bordeaux, 01 May 2021)
Silky with touches of caramel, chocolate, blueberry, raspberries and boysenberries - all those autumnal fruits that have texture and acidity to them, with the signature gloss of Cantenac Brown. Clear peony, violet notes also. A linen texture that slows the passage of the wine through the mouth. Retasted at UGC and this is again good quality, the austerity on the tannins is marked right now, but there is plenty of life ahead here. New owner Tristan le Lous as of 2019, and this wine also includes the new 9.5ha vines of vines from Château Charmant and la Galiane (bought in July 2020). The fermentation was conducted at temperatures 4-5 °C lower than average to preserve fruit. 60% new oak. Harvest 10 to 30 September.
Drinking Window 2028 - 2044